Monday, August 12, 2013

Working on fundamentals

Whenever (make that most of the time) I'm struggling with a new skill, I tend to back away from it after a while and shift gears a bit by working on something else.  I have a seemingly endless array of fundamental skills to choose from which all need work, so no worries about finding something to work on.  The last two publics which I skated where for the most part devoted to refining the forward inside Mohawk turn that I use as the entry element for the half-flip jump.  It's getting better but at a glacial pace.

Sunday I gave myself a break from that and worked on another weak foundation skill: forward and back crossovers.  My forward crossovers are OK but those in the CCW direction could be better.  My back crossovers are the reverse:  I'm comfortable going CCW but very shaky if transitioning to the left back outside edge for the CW crossover.  Last Thursday night I talked to the coach who was substituting for our regular group lesson instructor about this and she indicated that my half swivel pump for sliding the cross foot ahead of the inside foot could be stronger/smoother.  I went home, thought about her comments and watched a couple youtube videos (and actually got something useful out of youtube for a change).  Yesterday, back on the ice, I focused on the pump phase of the back crossover and was immediately rewarded on my strong side.  Even the back crossover in the shaky direction got a little better.  Additionally, I worked hard to consciously deepen my knee bend   With more knee bend my forward crossovers not only became stronger and flowed better but also started to produce much more power and speed.  The rink suddenly became much smaller!   I might become halfway stylish if I keep this up...

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